BIZ BUZZ: Thanksgiving travel, midnight madness and more

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Do you want to know what’s happening on the east Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered.

Every Tuesday, we highlight grand openings, ribbon cuttings, new faces and all things business related in east Idaho. Send your tips and suggestions to Please use “Biz Buzz” in the subject line. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the Biz Buzz newsletter.



265,000 Idahoans will travel by land, sea and sky for the holiday – a 3.3 percent increase

BOISE – Another year of low unemployment and high consumer confidence will motivate 50.9 million Americans to hit the road and take to the air for the Thanksgiving holiday. That’s the most since 2005.


Pocatello joins economic development program

POCATELLO – City leaders in Pocatello say they support business growth.

The city is joining Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI). The organization focuses on business recruitment, expansion and retention.

Pocatello is currently affiliated with Bannock Development Corporation. Mayor Brian Blad says by joining REDI, the city will be able to increase economic development in the area.

“Together, REDI and Bannock Development Corporation will be a one-two punch when it comes to marketing Pocatello,” Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad said in a press release.

Jan Rogers, REDI CEO, also stated in a press release,

“We are thrilled to welcome Pocatello, one of the largest cities in the region, as our newest REDI partner.

Idaho Falls, Blackfoot and Rexburg are also members of REDI.

Committee wants to recognize local leaders

POCATELLO – The city of Pocatello Human Relations Advisory Committee is seeking nominations for its Human and Civil Rights Award.

This award recognizes people who promote equality and diversity in the community.

The nomination form can be found here. Completed forms can be emailed to Nominations will be accepted until December 11 at 5 p.m.

Garbage Collection to be Delayed Due to Thanksgiving Holiday

POCATELLO – Thursday and Friday’s garbage, recycling, yard waste, and leaf collection for Pocatello residents will be delayed by one day because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Place your bags out front Friday, if the city typically picks up your garbage on Thursday.

Those with a Friday pickup are asked to place their autocarts and compostable bags out Saturday.

The Bannock County Landfill will also be closed on Thanksgiving.

The normal pickup schedule resumes on Monday.


Students present Portneuf River study

POCATELLO – They asked for your input and now a group of students is taking it into consideration.

Feedback on the future of the Portneuf River at the Portneuf Valley Farmer’s Market was presented at Pocatello City Hall last night.

Students from Utah State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture presented more than a dozen concepts for river restoration and rehabilitation.

“The Utah State University students have created site specific drawings depicting what it could look like to connect Idaho State University to the river along Terry Street,” Hannah Sanger, Science and Environment Division Manager for the City of Pocatello said in a press release.

The students will be taking public feedback on the new concepts. The comments will be incorporated into a final report that should be completed by the end of December.

You can learn more about the Portneuf River Vision Study here.



Bank of Idaho President awarded security certification

IDAHO FALLS – When it comes to financial data security, Bank of Idaho is stepping up, from the top down.

Earlier this month, Bank of Idaho President and CEO, Jeff Newgard, traveled to Denver to attend courses and test for certification in the CompTIA Security+ program. This certification gives a strong base of knowledge in several areas of cybersecurity, including threat management and security infrastructure.

This enables the bank to make educated decisions to better safeguard the institution and its clients.

“By having a stronger understanding of the technology and processes,” said Newgard in a press release, “I am better prepared to work with our I.T. leadership to ensure we take the right steps to protect the bank, and more importantly, our customers.”

Newgard says the increasing frequency of wide-spread data breaches illustrates the importance of improved security protection. He says the top-level commitment of resources reflects the high priority the Bank of Idaho places on the protection of customer information.

Horse Drawn Trolley Ride

Ribbon Cutting

Place: Modern Home
Date: December 1
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: 3157 Eagle Dr., Ammon
Details: Join us for a ribbon cutting as we celebrate the Grand Opening of Modern Home in Ammon! They feature a huge selection of stylish, beautiful furniture and mattresses at great prices. Tour the beautiful showroom where you can find something for every room in the house.
Ribbon Cutting at 10am–please arrive 15 minutes before.



Rigby leaders encouraging businesses to work late Dec. 1

The Rigby Chamber of Commerce is asking business owners to keep their doors open until midnight Dec. 1.

“We try to get people to come to Rigby and shop. That was our goal when we first started this (years ago),” chamber President Teresa Anderson tells

The annual Midnight Madness sale and Light Parade is Rigby’s big Christmas kickoff sale. Anderson says some businesses are having contests.

Idaho Drug will be hosting an ice carving contest. The Jefferson Star is going to do a ginger bread house contest.

Two of the cities biggest businesses, Abbott’s and King’s, were shut down this year so construction could begin on a new Maverik gas station. Anderson says they will be brining in some new vendors for this year’s event.

The parade kicks off the event at 6:30. It will begin in front of the old Junior high area on N 1st W and end on Clark Street. Santa Claus will be making an appearance at the parade, and will be available at Bennion Park afterwards to meet the kids.

Businesses who would like to participate need to fill out an entry form, which must be submitted by Wednesday November 29.



Brigham Young University-Idaho Ranked one of nations most affordable schools

The following is a press release from

REXBURG – Brigham Young University Idaho has been identified as one of the most affordable universities in America in our recent ranking. The ranking considered mid to large size institutions and lowest net price.

Brigham Young University-Idaho was ranked #35. Our editors noted that this is one of the most affordable universities in the country.

The ranking and a high resolution badge can be found here.

Best Value School’s mission is to help students find the best school to fit their needs.

Ribbon Cutting

Place: D.L. Evans Bank
Date: December 12
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: 125 Valley River Drive, Rexburg

Chamber Forum

Place: Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce
Date: December 13
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: 167 W. Main #2, Rexburg
Details: Rick Aman, President of College of Eastern Idaho, will be speaking.
TOPIC: “College of Eastern Idaho and Shift of Mission”
Lunch by The Hickory is available for $7.00. If you would like lunch, please RSVP to or call 208-356-5700.

Shop with a Cop

Toy Drive

The following is a public service announcement from a BYU-Idaho Choir student.

REXBURG – My name is Cody Chandler, and I am a choir student from BYU-Idaho. I am helping run a Christmas toy drive for victim children of the Northern California fires, and looking for your help to publicize this drive.

The official name of the Toy Drive is “Santa in Santa Rosa,” and it is running from now to Dec. 15. On Dec. 18, we will drive the toys down to Santa Rosa. The toy drive is specifically aimed to obtain toys for 2,300 children, all of whom have been affected by the fires in Northern California.

We have partnered up with the Marine Corps League local to Santa Rosa, and they will take our contributions and distribute them to the children. Their goal is three gifts per child, which is right near 7,000 gifts.

There are donation boxes are placed at the Broulims stores in Montpelier, Soda Springs, Shelley, Ammon, Rigby, Rexburg, St. Anthony, and Driggs, as well as the Albertsons store in Rexburg. We are looking specifically for new, unwrapped gifts for ages from 0-18, and technology is welcome.

This drive is sponsored by BYU-Idaho Choir Students, not the university itself or university choirs.



Teton Valley Health Care receives national award

DRIGGS – Teton Valley Health Care is being recognized nationwide for overall excellence in quality.

The Chartis Center for Rural Health/iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) awarded the hospital the prestigious award.

“We’re one of two Idaho rural hospitals to achieve this status, and I can assure you that every single member of the TVHC team has worked very hard to bring home the NOSORH Award,” says hospital CEO Keith Gnagey in a press release.

The rankings are determined each year using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®.

TVHC Quality Manager Susan Kay, R.N. says this recognition should boost people’s confidence in the hospital.

“We’ve set a high standard for quality care. We want people to know that our community hospital believes that what we do today should be better than yesterday, and what we do tomorrow should be better than today. TVHC is truly redefining common perceptions about small, rural hospitals,” says Kay.

More information about the Hospital Strength INDEX can be found at Learn more about Teton Valley Health Care at


This week’s featured business is Dr. Vinyl of East Idaho. They provide furniture and automotive reconditioning. We spoke with Lincoln Poore, the manager of the mobile operation. You can watch the story here.


Honda recalls 900,000 minivans after injuries are reported

Rexburg Festival of Lights to kick off this week

Longtime Idaho Falls bakery saying goodbye after Thanksgiving

Melaleuca pays $2.8 million in longevity bonues to 230 employees

Bankrupt Toys “R” Us wants to pay $16 million in executive bonuses

Museum of Idaho to nearly double in size